Myanmar offers great opportunities for the Indian business community to invest in infrastructure and power projects, visiting Myanmar President U Thein Sein said here yesterday. In a closed-door session, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, President Sein invited Indian businesses to also explore options in agriculture.

“The India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project, which will be extended to Laos and Cambodia with the assistance of the Indian government, will truly enhance regional connectivity and trade,” Mr Sein said.

He urged the captains of Indian industry to invest in Myanmar’s energy sector and pointed out the huge deposits of oil and gas in the South Asian country.

Reciprocating Mr Sein’s call, CII president Adi Godrej proposed a five-point agenda to strengthen India-Myanmar business relations.

“I propose enhancing connectivity in culture and commerce between the two countries; promoting integration and synergy in power and railway sectors; appropriate banking arrangements to foster trade and investment; enhancing bilateral engagement in trade protection, cooperation and collaboration in industries such as tourism and software; and inviting managers from Myanmar to Indian industry’s centres of excellence,” Mr Godrej said.

The Myanmar-India trade has been steadily increasing.

India stands as the fourth-largest trading partner with Myanmar with a trade volume of $1347.40 in 2011-12, according to CII.

In 2011-12, Myanmar’s exports to India were $1,046 million, a 20 per cent increase over the previous year.

In the same period, Indian exports to Myanmar stood at $324.5 million, an increase of 66.5 per cent over the previous year.

Myanmar exports agriculture and forest products to India and imports metal ores and products, medicines, transport equipment, machines and machinery parts and electrical appliances.
Myanmar has introduced tax reforms and took initiatives to make its banking system more customer-friendly.

Among those present at the meeting included Mr S Ramadorai, advisor to the Prime Minister on skill development and vice-chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, Mr B Muthuraman, vice-chairman of Tata Steel; Mr Arun Nanda, director of Mahindra & Mahindra, Mr Ravi Kant, vice-chairman of Tata Motors, and Mr Ganesh Natarajan, chief executive officer of Zensar Technologies.